ROCKVILLE — Wednesday night went far better than the last time the Solano Community College women’s basketball team played at home.
The Falcons (4-7, 1-0 BVC) routed visiting Yuba College 79-56 in the Bay Valley Conference opener for both squads.
“That was better,” said Solano coach Matt Borchert. “We were a different team, we’ve changed. Just in the past couple days. We’ve kind of had a change of philosophy a little bit – not that it’s going to be 100 percent, but the defense was really the catalyst. That’s what I really wanted to have happen tonight. That was a big theme in the pregame talk.”
Mixing things up a bit, the Falcons came out with a suffocating full-court press and man-to-man defense that forced the 49ers into 32 turnovers.
Solano capitalized on the extra possessions, converting on the first six Yuba turnovers and seven of eight to start the game.
Delivering a dominant performance was Solano’s Taylor Hamilton, who missed the team’s first two home games with an ankle injury, erupting for a game-high 27 points.
It was apparent from the start that Hamilton was going to make a difference for the Falcons as she attacked the hoop and beat defenders all night. She also passes the ball well, helping get all of her teammates onto the score sheet.
Hamilton scored the first basket for Solano, and then didn’t score again until there was 12 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first half.
The interceding minutes were filled with plays like the driving stop and assist she had to Ariella Harper to make it 6-2 with 17:44 remaining.
“You can’t really take the ball away from her and when something breaks down, she can create something out of a breakdown situation. Make a negative into a positive,” Borchert said. “She’s just a special talent. Everyone is so confident when she is on the floor.”
Ariel Clay added 13 points for Solano and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Everyone else on the roster scored at least two points.
“We got off to a really good start. That helped us with our offense,” Borchert said. “We’ve been struggling to score. We’re not the most fantastic team in the halfcourt, so we need to get transition situations.”
All the turnovers provided plenty of those opportunities.
“That was exactly what we wanted to do,” Borchert added. ‘We’ve really been struggling to score, so it was nice to get over 50. They say defense creates offense and that was what happened.”
The Falcons continue BVC play Friday at Laney.
Yuba men roll past Solano
Things went far less swimmingly for the Falcons men, who fell 91-64, falling behind early and never recovering.
After trailing 39-19 at the break, the Falcons (5-7, 0-1 BVC) came out on fire in the second half, outscoring the 49ers 24-16 over the first nine minutes of the second half to narrow the gap to 55-48.
But Yuba again found its stroke and outscored Solano 36-16 the rest of the way.
“It’s perplexing. We feel with our guys, it’s not that they can’t play how we expect them to, it’s just that they haven’t,” said Solano coach John Nagle. “We’re going to keep working on addressing the positive parts of the game, which aren’t too many. There were spots where we were aggressive, played (with) good tempo and we finished, made plays at both ends of the floor.”
Lequan Gomes came off the bench in the second half to lead the Falcons with 13 points, while Jacob Keys added 10.
Mike McKinney had nine for Solano.
“We’ve just got to get consistency. Sadly home has been where we performed our worst two times this season. Our home games have been our worst performances,” Nagle said.
The Falcons are at Alameda on Friday.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.